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Alien_Films

Fan Film done with Hash AM

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Alien Films is pleased to present "THE ASSASSIN"

 

"The Assassin" is a Star Wars Fan Film That takes place six months before the events of Episode IV.

The rebellions' best Assassin has been sent on a dangerous mission...

Can He Fulfill his mission and stop the Empires

Ultimate Weapon from being fully operational

with a large bounty on his head . . .

 

Almost every shot in the film utilized Animation Master!!

The 9 minute film took 2 years to complete while I worked a full time job & maintained an active social life.

I'm proud of it & plan on making more films in the future.

 

to Download the film GO HERE or click the link in my sig to find out what happens to The Assassin...

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Hi,

Your film is very impressive. I'd like to know more about how you made it, as I'm sure all the other users would. Could you elaborate on some technical info? For example:

What were some of the hardest shots to make and how did you solve the problems you encountered?

Also, did any AM specific features come in extra handy, and what features would you have liked to have if you could do it again now?

Thanks, keep up the good work!

 

Javier

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Thanks,

Because of the complexity of most of the shots, a lot of the stuff had to be rendered in multiple passes in A:M then composited in After Effects.

Because of the high amount of stuff going on in each shot, if they were rendered in one pass the rendering would have caused the computer to crash so I would render different elements like the background, separate from the traffic & fore ground. The mid & fore ground elements were often rendered with the a green background in the project with all the buildings & stuff deactivated.

There ware also a few modified motion capture files I used from the A:M CD used in the film.

I'll elaborate more on things as more people post comments & questions...

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Not bad.

 

Some of the camera and starship moves at the beginning seemed a bit jerky but all in all very nice.

 

Did you hand model everything or use models from other sources?

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That was great! I really enjoyed it and that was just the very highly compressed version as I don`t have broadband at home.

 

The action sequences were really well done.

 

I`m going to download the high quality version at work tomorrow. There are a few Star Wars nuts there that will probably love your film :D

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What Star Wars would be like if it was directed by Paul Verhoeven :P

 

Amateur CG films always rock.

 

-Sean Givan

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WOW! You opened my eyes. B):ph34r:

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Animation Master allowed me to make my own Star Wars movie.

 

Sounds like that'd be a pretty good endorsement! :D

Downloading Now!

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I've never watched a Star Wars film before but that was very cool! NIce JOB

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Thanks for all the cool feedback!!

I've worked hard on it over the past few years & all the sleepless nights I spent working on it have finally paid off... That's were I got the idea for my sig.

I'm really happy with the way it turned out, there were times I felt like it was an endless project.

As far as models go, as one of you were asking, some were done from scratch by me, some were done by a friend of mine & others were modified from other models read the credits to see which were modified..

Some of you may find it interesting that the guy who physically played Boba Fett & I live about 1,000 miles apart & have never have physically met before.. It was all done using compositing tricks, making me & the other guy 1,000 miles away look like we were right there with each other filming. I directed him by filming what I needed him to do in costume with camera angles & stuff, E-mailed him the stand in footage, then he filmed it & sent me the raw Greenscreen footage for me to composite with A:M & After Effects.

He has also done a few Star Wars fan films with A:M..

 

"What Star Wars would be like if it was directed by Paul Verhoeven :P "

:D LOL Yeah, I thought about making more blood. Like a splat on the wall behind the engineer during that part, but never got around to it before I released the film.

 

I'll post more inside info about how the film was made as more feedback comes in...

Keep the feedback coming!

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It was like a real Star Wars movie, but without the bad haircuts

 

A few rough (compositing) edges ;) but quite spiffy none-the-less and a substantial production since it seemed like every shot was an effects shot of some sort.

 

You could probably submit a clip of one of the all-A:M sequences to the "Space" contest this month. And win.

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The movie, strangely, refused to open for a while... I think it might have been a combination of the size... AND the fact that I tried to open at least three instances of the movie at the same time... :lol:

 

I liked it!

For whatever may be said of the rough edges, and yeah I saw a few, you sir have now lived the dream! You've participated in the Star Wars phenomenon in ways many could only dream about. That alone without any other redeeming value would make me say Bravo!

 

But... your little movie deserves another Bravo as well! It captures the spirit of Star Wars and much of the imagery as well.

 

Personnally I think the bike/scooter is better than the one from Clone Wars!

And probably fit better into the storyline as well ;)

In Clone Wars I remember thinking, "Why is he getting on a little hover tricyle. He's suppose to be some super bad guy... :lol: The images etc in your movie fit better IMO.

 

So whats your next Star Wars interlude/insert about? ;)

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I have to go to work here in a few minutes but I just wanted to say thank you to robcat2075 for the heads up on the space contest! B)

 

Also Thanks Rodney that is what I was hoping to do was capture the spirit of Star Wars as best I could.

 

I wish the costumes could have been a little better for the imperial police but I worked with what I had, the film was almost entirely done with A:M using After Effects only as a compositing tool to make rendering in A:M easier on my computer. With all the stuff going on in a lot of the shots it was more then my computer could take, so I had to render pieces at a time & composite it all together A:M was the program I worked with the most though.

Even the lasers were done in A:M!!

as all of you know A:M is an AWESOME program that is highly under rated.

 

As far as my next project goes, I'm thinking starting on a Batman fan film but I'm having trouble getting the cape animation (see my other topic) right for the CG double work that will be in the film...

 

Thanks all of you guys feedback helps me grow. Keep them coming

I still have much to learn.

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Guest mrsl13

Really cool !!!!...can't wait to show my boys..they'll love it too I know....would be nice to hear your going to have a "how we did it" clip.....you know ..like the extras on a DVD...

 

Mike

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compositing is tough. every shot has its own solution. If you are using minidv then I can recommend dvmatte from dvgarage.com. It is specifically designed to try and deal with artifacts created by minidv. They have final cut pro and after effects versions. It is a couple hundred dollars, but it's flexible and can pull great keys using the standard version of afterfx. I'm just telling you and anyone else who's interested, not to harshly criticize.

 

Besides compositing, there were some technical things that could have used improvement, but I bet you already know EVERY single one of them.

 

What I really liked about your flick was the pacing. I've seen all? yes, all Star Wars fan movies and one thing that many of them suffer from is very un-star wars like pacing. George L. loves to push the action-driven narrative to point that it is almost too fast, but that is not usually a characteristic of most fan-films. Most are some-how set to the fast paced 'dual of the fates' but drag like a funeral dirge.

 

Not yours. I thought the pacing (once the action started) was great, fast paced and had a lot of good star warsy action. Even though it was physically impossible for Boba Fett to rocket away with instant velocity and like no acceleration, stuff like that and the quick cuts helped push the story at a real pleasing pace.

 

Keep directing and editing. You have a good handle on action and I'd like to see more, if you have more in the tank...

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You know, I read the thread at the other site, and the biggest complaint was the biker helmets. You're obviously adept at compositing live action and 3D, so....

Why don'y you go back in and composite some better looking helmets on the police men? All you need is the front portion, and all the shots are clear of any other interfering props, so the hardest part would be matching the lighting.

 

Just a thought.

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SteelShark, Believe me, There are A LOT of things I would like to change about the film, but I've decided to let them all go, call the film finished & work on new things...

An artists work is never done, but we all have to call it done sometime.

 

mrsl13, by your request I'm going to post a shot breakdown I put together for the DVD of a few shots from the film.

 

pdaley, I used dvmatte for most of the film but I was working with footage from 8mm tape, not miniDV.. Believe me, the compositing was as good as it was going to get without DV.

 

If any of you have watched the outtakes, you'll see tracking markers on the greenscreen to track the camera movement for the digital background added later during that shot.

 

Keep the feedback coming :D

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Posted a behind the scenes FX shot breakdown on the site roughly showing some of the compositing steps I used to do the shots...

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Very Impressive.

 

Anyone wanting to do liveaction in A:M should check out this Behind the Scenes movie!

 

I might have to try some of that out myself someday! :)

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Great film! I hope every SW fan gets to see it.

 

The gang at Hash really enjoyed it. Many people have the dream of "making their own Star Wars" film on their kitchen table. You have actually done it. We salute you!

 

Keep up the good work!

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Sweet Flick, the action was very Star Warsy (what?)

The best part was the use of the Paintball gear, nothing like a JT mask :)

Keep up the good work

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Congratulations!

 

I won't make any negative criticisms as they are pointless. The artist sees them and a million more that know one else could find.

 

This is an outstanding effort! You must be a bit giddy now that it is done. I want to also applaud your integration of live action figures with CG. Even with some imperfections they work well and are also an extremely tough challenge (even with the "huge" budget you had to work with!).

 

I know for myself I would not be brave enough to attempt it!

 

I kept expecting Boba to get killed....oh...wait....okay now I remember....

 

p.s. I saw the original original Star Wars the first week it came out with my brother...a long time ago in a galaxy far far away...where Vern had all of his hair. You know Luke didn't seem as annoying when I was younger...

 

As I recall after we saw it my brother and I agreed this movie was going to be BIG! Very prophetic....

 

...this is the same brother who got me stoned before we saw Fantasia...

 

Great job!

 

Vernon "not stoned now" Zehr

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Awesome feedback I havn't been online for the past few days because I've been out of town. I'm on a friends computer now just to check in with you guys & get my web fix. :P

You guys see the work for what it is & can look past all the small "imperfections" it had.

It took a lot of dedication to get done there were a few times where it got shelved for a few months because I was tired of working on it, but I wanted to get it done.

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Still....trying...to...down...load...

 

Hmm, although I can't wait to check it out, did you happen to turn on "fast start for internet" when you compressed these? If you used Cleaner, then that's a default setting. If you have not done so, then go into QT Pro, save movie as (self-contained" and make sure "fast start for internet" is selected.

 

Now back to waiting (on a T1 line here...)

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Well, at home on my measly cable connection, it downloaded pretty fast. Nice work! Interesting making the Assasin a droid.

 

For some reason though, every time I saw the 3D version of Fett and the Assasin walking it reminded me of the robot from an old Scooby Doo episode (anyone remember the one with amusement park and the robot on the loose??).

 

Now if only the rest of us could find time (maybe someday)to make ours as well.

 

Thanks for sharing your hard work with the rest of us, and keep up the good work!

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Thanks, for some reason I couldn't qwite get the walk just right... I need to work on that :P

I also want to thank the team at Hash for creating such an awesome program to work with & making it affordable. I'm honored you guys liked my film.

 

Here's some more inside info for you all:

There are a few parts in the speeder chase where the legs were CG & the top half is a live greenscreen element (the part where he jumps off the speeder and jumps back on & the part where he slams on the breaks, does a 180 & shoots his blaster at the ships behind him & a few other shots) all those shots had CG legs & a live top half!!!

 

When I get home from my vacation next week. I'll put together some more how I did it clips & post for those interested...

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Here's some more inside info for you all:

There are a few parts in the speeder chase where the legs were CG & the top half is a live greenscreen element (the part where he jumps off the speeder and jumps back on & the part where he slams on the breaks, does a 180 & shoots his blaster at the ships behind him & a few other shots) all those shots had CG legs & a live top half!!!

Wow! That is some nice compositing!! After Effects too??

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Top!

You really made my day/evening.

This is so cool! and awsome boba fett costume!

 

Greetz!

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I've posted a new short FX shot breakdown, this one is different then the last one though...

It's kind of like a behind the shots work in progress slide show with some work in progress video clips mixed in too.

It goes into more detail on compositing tricks I used then the other one did, this one pretty much breaks it down layer by layer.

 

Hope you all find it interesting:

Just scroll down on my web page till you see "Assassin FX Slide Show with Video"

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I watched it, and enjoyed it. I don't care if you used bike helmets :).

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CONGRATULATIONS!

 

I recognize that was a LOT of work. I am not a big Star Wars fan, but you have captured the essance quite well of the genre. Great job! This is GREAT for A:M.

 

Will you be making DVD copies available?

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Thanks!!

Did you check out the two "Behind the Scenes Shot Breakdown Clips" too?

 

Yes, I have made DVD copies available for friends & family, but because it's a fan film so I can't sell it to you. :(

That's the ONLY downside to making a fan film...

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This thing merits as serious a criticism as I'm able to give. And just in case, WARNING SPOILERS!!!

 

Bad Stuff:

The ship chases seemed a bit too slow, and ship movements a bit stiff at times. Some of the 3D walking animation was pretty bad. The movie could have used better costumes, though the assisin's gear was a pretty clever use of paint ball gear, as has been said. The acting was a bit hokey, especially the corasant police.

 

Good Stuff:

It totally F**king Rocked! This defintely should get that Star Wars fan film award. The script seemed more in the vein of a good star wars movie than the last two Lucas made. Everything about it was sooo a Star Wars Flick. I guess you'd call it the editing between the various actors was superb, especially the last chase scene between the various pilots. That chase scene played just as well as dog fights in the actual movies. The best acting, by far, was the guy who played Boba Fett, who F**cking nailed it. That guy was Boba Fett. All the fighting scenes were awesome, both the Animation and Choregraphy. And, while I did complain a bit about ship animation, it was really good and had some choice moments. My favorite ship combat moment was when the assisin shot his way through the police, closely followed by the moment he ejected out of his ship on a cycle. Man, I'd love to see what you'd do with a real budget. I am eagerly anticipating your next flick.

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HA! I just bought Hash yesterday at Wondercon, a comic book convention that's held in the San Francisco Bay Area every year. I was with the East Bay Star Wars Fan Club and we were showing our fan film and generally promoting the club.

 

During a break from the table I wandered past Jim "Andrew Supina" Hash doing the demonstration thing. I stayed and watched, and I was VERY impressed at the ease and speed of the things he was doing with Hash. I thought, "You know, maybe I should give this program a look. I need SW props for my movies: X-Wings, TIE fighters, etc." I told him that if he could model my lightsaber on the spot that I would buy the program. Sure enough, in about ten minutes he had modeled a 3D version of the lightsaber I was carrying with me.

 

I bought the program, then told them I was doing it to model X-Wings and the like. That's when they told me that I could download the pre-made models off the website. I just installed it not 30 minutes ago and then I spot this post.

 

Alien_Films, rock on! I look forward to seeing you at the Fan Film awards! Okay, going to download your movie now...

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I watched the film, and it does ROCK! That's awesome! I can see why it took two years. You put a LOT into that film, and, really, if you can take out the non-Star Wars sound (e.g. Terminator, Star Trek) it really should be submitted to the Fan Film Awards. The deadline is June 15. I would submit my own entry but I, too, used some non-SW music and I can't really extract it and replace it with something appropriate that is SW. Jane's Addiction and John Williams are just too disparate.

 

Anyway, I REALLY like the opening scroll! That's such a tough thing to duplicate. I have a friend who has been doing fan films for a while now and he still hasn't figured it out in After Effects. I'll have to show him how to do it in Premiere. I noticed that you 'blended' the sound to shorten the opening scroll. Very innovative. That 1 minute and 25 seconds is really an eternity! (Yes, I know the length is actually 1 m 24.5 seconds, but I'm rounding, okay? :) ) You might want to let the words fade out a little deeper in the background. Also, the opening STAR WARS logo fades out completely before the scroll starts. Nitpicky, I know, but the extra 5 or 6 seconds it takes will really give it that Star Wars flavor and make it feel like it isn't quite so rushed.

 

On sound: the music and the action sounds were A-W-E-S-O-M-E! They were really clear, well placed (like the panning of the sound of the starship going by) and LOUD just like action sounds should be! There was no crackle, the crackle that for some reason creeps in during editing, especially on modified sound files. Alack and alas, though, the Enemy of the Sound Mixer is always actors who can't project their voice or are encumbered by masks. You have a choice there: putting a microphone on a boom (and risking boom shadow), having actors speak their lines loudly (and risk ruining the drama of the scene), or doing dialog replacement and risk having the sound be out of joint. The first option can be mitigated with either a wireless microphone or lighting, both of which can get expensive, FAST! The second choice is a matter of director's choice and timing. The third option has a really nifty gimmick that a friend taught me: ambient noise. When doing dialog replacement you're often in a sound-controlled room, even if it's just your den with the door closed and the mini-fridge turned off. Your actors, though, are often right in front of the microphone and so the dialog will come out nice and clean and clear, with little or no ambient noise. Thus, what you do when you're filming a scene where you're sure you'll be doing ADR is you take a few moments to record some ambient noise, nobody talking, nothing in the background, etc. and just loop it in your sound track while piecing it together. This way, your dialog always sounds like an original recording. Getting actors to sync their dialog perfectly, though, can be a trick unto itself. BE PATIENT! It always takes more than one take to get it right, and can sometimes take 20, 30, or more! The results, though, are worth it when your dialog is loud and clear, so the exposition and plot points can be easily understood.

 

I'll have to watch it again to catch the plot. I got a call in the middle of watching it and it confused me for a bit, especially where the Assassin was being held up by the guy he shot, the Merchant? Anyway, the action is awesome, and I can't believe the lengths you went to to get Boba Fett in your picture! I guess I'm spoiled, with three different legions of the 501st and so many costuming groups in my area.

 

Kudos on the film!

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Thanks Cirrocco!

I would love to enter it into the Fan Film awards but I'll need to do a lot more to it then just change the music to make the film eligible. Check out the guide lines for the contest, it can't be much more then a parody, My film falls more on the serious side of things... That alone makes me un-eligible...

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You know, maybe I *SHOULD* take a look at those restrictions. I've never actually seen them for myself.

 

Well, here's hoping you get famous anyway!

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The Force is strong with this one.

 

Really impressive achievement, with some exciting action scenes. I especially enjoyed your behind the scenes clips, and am looking forward to seeing what you do with the Caped Crusader. Hopefully you'll have a Batmobile. ;-)

 

late edit: Oh yeah, and that was a nice touch throwing the "Wilhelm Scream" in there.

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Thanks I've gotten the best feedback from all of you on this & I'm honored that Hash is helping out with the hosting too.

This film has played a great part in getting me accepted to Collins College for ether the Media Arts or Animation Programs I havn't decided wich program to go for yet.

 

I've updated my web site with some of the more memerable FX tests I've done over the past 4 years.

 

Thanks, all of you :)

Allen Hood

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Ok.. I know this thread died a few months ago.. but while waiting for my software to come I've been reading the forums and browsing the site.

 

This fan film is great!

It reminds me of a lot of those "low budget" sci-fi shows that are showing on TV.

 

Please understand, that is a compliment.. I'm saying that it's on par with some of those shows that actually get airtime and even without a corporation supplied production budget, you did an AWESOME job!

 

It definitely had the Star Wars feel to it and the amount of 'technical elements' put into it were truely amazing!

That's cool how you mixed the CG legs and live action on the speeder scenes.. I didn't even catch that until I saw the effects clips on the site.

 

The lightsaber fight was bad ass to. :)

 

I can't wait to see some of your future projects!

 

Stuff like this is very inspiring for an A:M newbie. ;)

 

Steve

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